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China Approves Gene-Edited Soybean for Crop Production

China has approved the safety of a gene-edited soybean, its first approval of the technology in a crop, as the country increasingly looks to science to boost food production.

China Approves Gene-Edited Soybean for Crop Production
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China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs granted safety approval for a gene-edited soybean developed by Shandong province-based, privately owned company Jinan Shengquan Group. The decision marks the first time China has approved the use of the gene-editing technology in crop production. The move comes as China, the world’s largest consumer and importer of soybeans, seeks ways to boost food production amid scarce farming resources and a growing population. Gene-editing technology can help create crops that are more resistant to pests and diseases and more tolerant of harsh weather conditions. In 2018, China drafted rules to regulate oversight of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including gene-edited crops, but has yet to implement them.

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